Cardinal Connections Staff Copy

August 30th

Big picture

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back:

I hope you have enjoyed your time away from the building and spending time with your families. I also hope you are relaxed, recharged, and ready to start a new school year. I again welcome and value your positivity and dedication to excellence in education this school year, and I can't wait to get started doing what we do best! As you know, I am very thankful for each one of you, and I am super excited to begin this new year working alongside you.

We have many new things that are planned to contribute to a productive year. Amongst the new things, we have a few new faces that we have the privilege of working with. I am certain that you will love each of them.

Clinton Valley Welcome Back 2021-22

Let's Welcome our new CVE Staff Members

Karen Saraceno - Secretary

We are delighted to welcome Karen Saraceno to the team as our new Secretary, who comes to us from Cheyenne. She has been simply amazing, and she just started. She started the year well before August 16th by reaching out to the Board Office asking for training and trying to learn many of the functions of her job. I love her dedication to supporting all of us, and I'm very thankful that she has joined our team. #FunFact about Karen - Probably the first secretary in the district who completely uploaded all of our students into classes in PowerSchool so that you all could have your student rosters. Stop in to welcome her to our wonderful building!

Olivia Perucca - Art Teacher

We are delighted to welcome Olivia Perucca to the team as our new Art Teacher. Olivia graduated from Chippewa Valley High School and did her Undergraduate at the College of Creative Studies. She soon joined the staff at St. Joan of Arc Catholic School, where she remained until now. She has a passion for art and teaching students how to be creative. She is very big on building relationships with the students and staff members. I am excited to welcome her to our team and thankful that she chose us. #FunFact about Olivia - She has already drawn us a cool, friendly Cardinal to use for T-shirts, backgrounds, email signatures, etc. If you would like a copy, let me know. Stop in to welcome her to our wonderful building!

Nicole McDermott - 4/5 Blend Teacher

We are delighted to welcome Nicole McDermott to the team as our new 4/5 Blend Teacher. She will be working alongside Janet Phillips, and I'm excited about the work they will do together. Nicole comes to us from a Math and Science charter school, where she had been for the last eight years. This is also where the students and parents recognized her as Teacher of the year! She has a passion for the students and is driven to ensure they succeed. I'm excited to welcome her to our team and thankful that she chose us. #FunFact about Nicole - last year, she set her class up at the beginning of the year to welcome 20 students. Her school made some quick changes to staff members and decided to lay off quite a few teachers. Because of this, the administration added 20 students to her roster. So instead of welcoming 20 students, she had to get her class together to welcome 40 students quickly, and she did it with a little stress and a lot of determination to ensure they all advanced. Stop in to welcome her to our wonderful building!

Meghan Radoicic - 3rd Grade Teacher

We are delighted to welcome Meghan Radoicic to the team as our new 3rd Grade Teacher. She will be working alongside Cheryl Kowalski, and I'm excited about the work they will do together. Meghan comes to us from Richmond Community Schools, where she taught 3rd Grade. Before that, she was a long-term sub at Huron Elementary and worked alongside some amazing teachers, and developed a strong rapport with them. She has a great way of delivering instruction and building relationships with students, staff, and parents. In fact, when I call on her references, you could tell they missed having her in their building and were extremely excited that she had an opportunity to be part of the Chippewa district. I'm so excited to work with her this new year, and I am grateful that she chose CVE to call her home. #FunFact about Meghan - She is very close with her family; in fact, each day she came in to get her room together, she brought in her loved ones to help her. I placed boxes and boxes of Science kits in her room and Cheryl's, and by the end of the day, they had them all organized. Stop in to welcome her to our wonderful building!

Megan Laichalk - Science Teacher

We are delighted to welcome Megan Laichalk to the team as our new Science Teacher. Megan has been in Chippewa for years and has worked with so many administrators. All the administrators I spoke to about Megan said she was a hard worker and dedicated to the job. This is nothing new to us here at CVE. She did an amazing job for our students and parents last year. She was always so concern about the students that were in her room. She made it her busy to build relationships and focus on the needs of her students. I am excited to welcome her to our team as a newly appointed contracted teacher. #FunFact about Megan - She coordinates all of her apparel, shoe wear, and masks! Check her out! Stop in to welcome her (again) to our wonderful building!

Kim Valentine - Resource Room Teacher

We are delighted to welcome Kim Valentine to the team as our new Resource Room Teacher. She will be working alongside Dyana Bates, and I'm excited about the work they will do teacher. Kim has been in the district a long time and knows many people. This year, she will be split between CVE and Shawnee. She will be with us in the morning and Shawnee in the afternoon. She has a wealth of knowledge teaching the Language curriculum and the CMC curriculum. I'm excited about Kim joining our team and grateful that she chose us. #FunFact about Kim - There is someone in the building that Kim knew before coming here. Can you figure out who it is?

Sneak Peek/Curriculum Night for ECSE and K - 5

Sneak Peak/Curriculum:

Sneak Peak/Curriculum Night will be done together like last year. PTO has put together a Scavenger Hunt for our parents to get a chance to visit different rooms (Specials) and places throughout the building. There are a few things I need all grade level teachers to execute on this night:

  • Please play the video I have included. This is my welcome video, and it will speak to a few new things that we will be doing at CVE this year. This video will also outline the new building fundraiser that we need their support in. I have given you handouts describing the fundraiser that I ask that you pass out to families. I also need you to encourage all of your families to participate. Janet will be talking to you about how the fundraiser will work on Tuesday, August 31st. The more information you can give to our families, the better the fundraiser will be.

  • We will have book bags at the table as they come in and we will pass what we have to everyone that shows up. I have Nella counting the amount of book bags we have. I'm unsure if we have enough for every family, but we will pass them out until we run out.

  • To build some excitement around Teacher Assignment for parents this year, I decided to do a postcard scratch-off. When parents arrive to Sneak Peek night, they will be given a postcard with their student's name on it. The teacher's name will be placed under a scratch-off. The parent will then be directed to the teacher's classroom by either one of the staff or PTO members.

  • On the table, we will also provide a Welcome letter. This letter will also be sent via School Messenger to all families, just in case some families don't show up.


Welcome to CVE Sneak Peek Night

ECSE Open House - September 7th - Half Day

Parents bring students in and spend time getting them comfortable in the classroom and getting to know us.

Professional Development

Schedule to Follow based on the position of the staff member. Staff should review the document received on August 23rd to know their schedule for the three days this week.

August 30th PD 8:00 - 2:30 -

  • 8:00 - Ron and then Ken Williams (virtual)
  • 9:45 - 2:30 - Various PD sessions (virtual)

August 31st - 8:00 - 2:30

  • 1:00 - 2:30 (in-person)

September 1st -

  • 8:00 - 2:00

Back to School Fundraiser

New PBIS Rewards Program Platform - One System does it ALL!

Hello Team!

We are excited to introduce this new PBIS Rewards platform that we will be using this year. A few staff members piloted this last year. The feedback that we received was amazing. The goal of starting this new platform is to give us one system that we can use to manage everything in the building, from student behaviors to communications with family, staff, and one another.

I have purchased training for this new system. This training will be lead by the PBIS team. The team consists of Janet Phillips, Monica Weaver, Katie Tabaczynski, and Nella Manoski. This training will be held on August 31st from 1:30 - 2:30 pm.

You need to open your email and create your login ID and password. A lot of the work for this has already been worked on by the team. Your new students have already been entered into the system, class groups have been created, and the calendar for the school year has been created.

We will be using this system in our ClassLink program that the district has provided us with. ClassLink is designed to make it easier for students to log in and access district programs. Gone is the day of trying to keep track of student IDs and passwords for different programs—one login for all of the programs on the students' laptops.

Message from Janet & Monica about PBIS Rewards...

Hi Team!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their last few days of summer break! Since a lot of teachers are preparing their classrooms and for Sneak Peek night, I wanted to give you a few resources you can use to make parents aware of the new behavior program we will be using school-wide this year.

-Here is a short paragraph describing the program in detail. I plan on including this in my back-to-school brochure and you can feel free to use it however you may like:

PBIS Rewards is a schoolwide PBIS management system that assists schools in their Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support program. The system makes it easy to continuously recognize students for showing positive behavior from anywhere in the school, not just the classroom. The free Parent App allows parents to view student point totals, number of referrals, items purchased with points, and upcoming events for which points can be used. Parents can also use the app to view and verify Check-In/Check-Out forms and send and receive messages from the school’s staff members. We are excited to share PBIS Rewards with our staff members, students, and families because when educators and parents work together, both students and schools benefit.

-In addition, here is a link for a 2-minute video that you can also show at Sneek Peak night that further explains the program and how it works:

-Last, we are hoping that we can get as many parents as possible to download the PBIS Rewards Parents app before leaving our classrooms on Tuesday night. For the parents to log into their individual student on this app they will have a specific QR code that will need to be scanned. Monica and I will be sure you get each student's specific QR code before Tuesday night so that you can pass that out to each parent.

PBIS Rewards - Parent Education Video

Is your child's school using PBIS Rewards? This video is intended to help parents learn more about PBIS, their school's use of PBIS Rewards, and the PBIS Rewards Parent App. For more information about PBIS Rewards, please visit PBIS Rewards Parent Education Video Transcription (English): Your child

We will be having a training on this program during our staff meeting next Tuesday also, but if you have any questions about it prior to the meeting please feel free to reach out to Monica or me!

See everyone soon!

Janet and Monica

Yearbook Distribution

Yearbooks will be distributed during Sneak Peek Night. Last year 5th graders will receive theirs from the staff members at Algonquin. Anything that is not picked up during Sneak Peek Night, will be placed in your mailbox to deliver to students on the first day of school.


Hello Teachers!! You have asked for it and it is back! Clinton Valley Spirit Wear is now available! Choose from dozens of great styles and shirt types! There is currently a sale going on, so be sure to order before September 15th. The store will be open year-round so feel free to order at any time! We can't wait to see you around school sporting your new Clinton Valley gear!!


Scholastic News Magazine

Our PEN partner will provide Scholastic News Magazines for K – 4th.

Lexia Information

  • Lexia will be additional resources available for all K-5 students this school year. All teachers must complete the Lexia Auto Placement test (K - 5) by the staff meeting on September 22nd.

  • Please keep in mind that the "generic" computer login is only available in the computer lab. If using the laptops, use the new directions for individual student login.

  • Summer Lexia is no longer available. Please inform your families when available again in late September.

  • Will be an optional resource. Extra practice for students. This is not to be used during MTSS as a tier 3 intervention.

  • There will be training for teachers on September 22nd.

  • All Lexia has been reset and all students will need to be autoplaced. Takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

New Passwords for students

These will be sent to families from Technology on Thursday, September 2nd.


  • Laptops will be in the building by September 7th.
  • Classrooms are being provided with carts of computers for each classroom.
    • We may have classes with different models, but each cart will have only a single model and we will try to keep models at each grade level the same.
  • Each cart will have a box of chargers with it. These will be available for students to take home when they take computers home
    • Gathering 2 chargers for each laptop is challenging and we will need to order more. Some classes may not have extra chargers on day 1. We do not expect elementary to start sending computers home right away, especially lower el, so we don't expect this to pose a major problem.
  • Each student will be assigned a specific laptop to use in class and take home. This allows us to track laptops accurately.
    • Becky will work with classroom teachers to do the actual checkouts in the first weeks of school.
  • We have set up a school-wide Schoology course that has resources and videos teachers can use to help train students on computer use and responsibility.

  • Teachers can use these resources as they see appropriate while acclimating students to the laptops.

Dawn Berendt will be our new Instructional Technology Coordinator

Big picture

Cameras in the Classroom

Elementary will not be installed before school starts. Only for quarantine students.

Book Fairs

In the fall, they will be virtual. We are hoping for spring in person.


We will not be hosting CVVA in Clinton Valley this year.

IXL will be used in Math MTSS

Please make sure that you can access your accounts. If you need a password reset, let us know.

Parent Volunteers

We are limiting guests in the building at this time. Guests will be limited to those conducting school business.

Field Trips

I encourage you to do virtual field trips at this time. We will refrain for the first half of the school year.

KRA is now optional

  • Teachers who have been trained will still get paid.
  • We have decided not to administer the KRA because it doesn't replace the universal screen (FB).


  • The MTSS Committee will present our new plan in our Staff Meeting on 9/15.
  • MTSS - Should not be a "big" event to move a student in and out of groups.
  • We will focus on skill deficits as opposed to Tier 2 or Tier 3. Our Benchmark Assessments will give us a direction as to what skill deficit the students should be working on.

Elementary Assessment Calendar

NWEA - Fall Testing

  • Testing Window - September 13 to October 1
  • 3rd - 5th Grade
  • Reading and Math (There is no particular order to test)

NWEA - Winter Testing

  • Testing Window - December 1 to December 22
  • 3rd - 5th Grade
  • Reading and Math (There is no particular order to test)

NWEA - Spring Testing

  • Testing Window - March 1 to March 25
  • 3rd - 5th Grade
  • Reading and Math (There is no particular order to test)

FastBridge - Fall Diagnostic Benchmark Window

  • Testing Window - September 13 to October 1
  • K - 2nd Grade
  • Reading and Math (FastBridge Math in 2nd Grade ONLY)

FastBridge - Mid-Year Diagnostic Benchmark Window

  • Testing Window - January 4 to January 25
  • K - 2nd Grade
  • Reading and Math (FastBridge Math in 2nd Grade ONLY)

FastBridge - Spring Diagnostic Benchmark Window

  • Testing Window - May 1 to May 25
  • K - 2nd Grade
  • Reading and Math (FastBridge Math in 2nd Grade ONLY)

Progress Monitor (Tier 2 bi-weekly, Tier 3 weekly)

District Benchmark Assessment Plan 2021-2022:

  • FastBridge helps us address fluency in reading, not listening. FastBridge will replace NWEA for grades K-2. Parts of the test are like NWEA, but less time consuming

  • All teachers are required to give our students benchmark assessments.

  • The state of Michigan requires that we test in the winter, so we must test three times a year.

  • Teachers will be trained on FastBridge in the last week of August.

  • NWEA will no longer be used as a benchmark assessment for grades K - 2

  • Now that we have 1:1 Technology we don't have to schedule time in the lab for grades 2 - 5

  • Grade 3 IRIP will stay the same, while K-2 will be adjusted according to FastBridge.

The District has changed the assessments we will be using by Grade Level. Below you will see the plan.

  • Kindergarten & First Grade: FastBridge will be used for Reading and Number Corner Screeners as the universal screener will be used for Math. Some one-on-one time is needed to test K-1. Subs will be set aside for teachers to use for this part of the test.

  • Second Grade: FastBridge will be used for both Reading and Math. 2nd grade will need headphones for the reading portion of the test. Do not need a microphone, just earbuds.

  • Third through Fifth Grade: NWEA for both Reading and Math

Positivity Project 2021-22

The PBIS Committee already shared with you your new logins and passwords to get into the Positivity Project Powerpoints. If you have any questions, please reach out to Janet Phillips or Monica Weaver.

Breakfast starts 9/13

Important Links - Please open in Desktop App to ensure proper margins are used.